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Sale 92: The Summer Sale

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Prisoner of War Covers, Southern Prisons

Lots 2458-2467 Lots 2468-2471

Lot 2458    

Confederacy, Castle Morgan, Cahaba Ala., brown cover addressed to Helam, Pa. and endorsed "Prisoners Letter" at top left, "Vicksburg, Miss, Feb 2, 1865" cds and matching "Due 6" rate handstamp, flap with "Examined and Approved, Capt. and Commissioner of Exchange C.S.A." examiner's marking, included is the original enclosure datelined "Federal Prison, Cahaba Dallas Co. Ala., January 15th 1865" from Adam Bahn to his Aunt writing "Since you last heard from me I have had the misfortunate of becoming a 'Prisoner of War'. I was captured on the 24th Sept. at the battle near Athens, Ala. by Genl. Forrest…", Very Fine, a very rare Southern Prison cover.
Estimate    $3,000 - 4,000.

THIS IS ONE OF THE FINEST OF ONLY 10 COVERS RECORDED FROM CAHABA.

Adam Bahn was from Company B of the 102nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Private Bahn was exchanged three months after writing this letter, but he along with many other members of the 102nd were killed when the Steamboat Sultana blew up on the Mississippi River just above Memphis on April 27th, 1865…the worst maritime disaster in U.S. history.

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Current Opening Bid: $1,450

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Lot 2459    

Confederacy, Charleston S.C., inner prisoner-of-war cover endorsed "By Flag of Truce" and "Prisoners Letter" bearing 3¢ rose (65) tied by radial star fancy cancel duplexed with "New York, Sep 5" cds to Amoskeag N.H., pink "Ex. A.S., Capt" examiner's marking, original enclosed letter datelined "Charleston S.C. Aug 12. 1864" with some excellent content "…A flag of truce boat goes Monday morn, and we have an opportunity of writing so I will write you a few lines … We have been moved and are now in very comfortable quarters. Col. is with me. Both well. Have not heard a word from North since our capture. There are many reports and I think with some foundation of an early exchange … I understood yesterday that articles sent here by the Sanitary Com mission would be received…" and signed "S.F. Murray", endorsed "By Flag of Truce via Hilton"; cover stained, Fine.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

Samuel F. Murry enlisted on Nov. 5, 1861 as a Sergeant and mustered into Company F of U.S. Volunteers 2nd Sharp Shooters. Listed as POW Aug. 6th 1862 at Bowling Green Ky. and exchanged September 13, 1862. Listed again as POW Jun. 21, 1864 at Weldon Railroad Va. and parole December 9, 1864. He was promoted up to Captain during service and Major by Brevet in 1865.

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Current Opening Bid: $150

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Lot 2460    

Confederacy, Charleston, S.C., prisoner's cover endorsed "Major Quigg, Prisoner of War, Charleston S.C." at top left and "Per Flag of Truce" at bottom left, with uncancelled U.S. 3¢ rose (65) to Bloomington Ill., original enclosed letter datelined "Charleston S.C. Sept 30th 1864" with some interesting content "…If not speedily exchanged & if my stay as prisoner is a protracted one, I shall need clothing of all kinds & also money, both of which are now allowed to come to us … But I trust no effort will be spared to effect an exchange for me as speedily as possible as there seems to be no hope of a general exchange…"; cover faulty, F.-V.F.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

David Quigg enlisted Aug. 29th 1861 as a Major commissioned into Company "L" of the 4th Illinois Cavalry. He mustered out Aug. 15th 1862 and recommissioned Feb. 6th 1863 into Field & Staff of the 14th Illinois Cavalry.

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Current Opening Bid: $140

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Lot 2461    

Confederacy, Libby Prison, Richmond Va., prisoner of war folded letter datelined "Richmond Libby Prison 6 August" with "Old Point Comfort, Va. Aug 8" double-circle datestamp and "Due 6" circled rating handstamp to New York City, manuscript "Exd" examiner's marking, endorsed "Soldier's Letter" at bottom left, some interesting content "…I am still here with but a little hope of getting out until the difficulties existing between the two authorities are settled out. I am badly in want of under clothing's as it is 56 days I am using the same shirt washing it now & then and remaining without shirts until mine is dry … Other Colonels have been appointed Brigadier Generals and I have lost since I am here shut up with 500 other Federal Officers all opportunity to become Brigadier. Col. Duffie whose regiment was taken officers & privates all prisoners except some 35 and himself was made Brigadier! He was Major in the Harris Light Cavalry when I was already Colonel of the 4th … You speak about using influence to get me exchanged. There are here many Colonels & two Generals and if they cannot get me exchanged how can I? Your letters of course are read before delivery but they will all faithfully be given to me if nothing about politics is in them. I really do not know why our Government agreed to exchange enlisted men but refuses to exchange officers. Officers of both armies are suffering very badly and then confinement with this weather and many will lose their life by fear or other sickness because the two commissionaires cannot agree in their meetings this is cruelly ridiculous! Oh how I long to get a good bath and a good dinner…"; some edge wear, Very Fine with excellent content.
Estimate    $750 - 1,000.

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Current Opening Bid: $350

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Lot 2462    

Confederacy, Libby Prison, Richmond Va., orange inner prisoner-of-war cover endorsed "Weston Rowand, 1st Va Cavalry U.S.A., Prisoner of War" at left, sent by flag-of-truce entering U.S. mails with "Old Point Comfort Va., Mar 1" cds and matching "Due 3" rating handstamp to Allegheny City Pa., original letter datelined "Libby Prison, Richmond Feb 21st/63" with some interesting content "…This will assure you that I was not one of the stampede who escaped from this building a short time since. When we meet again, I will explain why I was not … Many officers here are cursing our Gov. for not effecting an exchange. Many will leave the service therefore when released. We hear today that our Flag Boat returned to Fortress Monroe with our boxes…"; accompanied by "C.S. Military Prison, Richmond, July 8 1863" part-printed receipt for $25 that would be returned upon release from prison signed "E.W. Ross, Clk of Prison", Very Fine and choice, ex-Walske.
Estimate    $750 - 1,000.

A WONDERFUL PRISONER OF WAR FLAG-OF-TRUCE COVER FROM LIBBY PRISON IN RICHMOND.

With the largest Union prisoner population in the C.S.A., Richmond was forced to use a number of facilities as prisons. Northbound mail was processed through Richmond, but virtually all known covers from Richmond prisons are inner envelopes which do not have C.S.A. frankings or Richmond postmarks, and entered the U.S. mails at Old Point Comfort.

Libby Prison opened in March 1862 to receive transferred prisoners from Ligon's, Mayo's and Taylor's Warehouses. It re-opened in mid-1863, and quickly grew to over 4,000 inmates by the end of 1863. It was evacuated on the fall of Richmond in April 1865. Eight flag-of-truce covers are known from the via Norfolk period, and five are known from the via Petersburg period. More than 160 covers are known from the via Richmond period.

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Current Opening Bid: $350

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Lot 2463    

Confederacy, Libby Prison, Richmond Va., letter datelined "Libby Prison, 22 July 63" in pencil with some interesting content, "…There is still some difficultly about exchanging us but I hope to be soon free and in New York to go with you & our friends to Christen Miss. Eugene at Maison Dorie … I consol myself here by thinking of you and that keeps my spirits up. This is the 3rd letter I wrote you since 36 days I am in captivity. When you write me address as follows, Col. Cesnola Prisoner of War Richmond Care Col. Ludlow Fortress Monroe…" and signed Luigi, there is an additional letter in pencil "If anything sent is not received by the prison it will be because it is kept by your own people and not by ours - any that we receive will be delivered with success and trust." and signed by John M. Higgins, Very Fine.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

John M. Higgins was a prominent Richmond citizen held in Castle Godwin. After his release, Higgins was hired as a clerk in the Confederate War Department, where his job included the examination of prison mail.

Luigi Palma di Cesnola (1832-1904), an Italian-American soldier, diplomat and amateur archaeologist. He was released from Libby Prison early in 1864 when the Union Agent for Prisoner Exchange offered a personal friend of Jefferson Davis as barter. He served in the Wilderness and Petersburg campaigns (1864-65) as a commander of a cavalry brigade but was not promoted to brigadier general. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the American Civil War. He was United States consul at Larnaca in Cyprus (1865-1877) and first Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (1879-1904).

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Current Opening Bid: $150

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Lot 2464    

Confederacy, Libby Prison, Richmond Va., letter datelined "Libby Prison, Richmond Va., Decb. 27 1863" with some interesting content "…It is really a shame that the State of New York which is the largest represented in this prison, its aid societies, ladies societies etc. etc. had not sent a penny worth of things to the prisoners except Genl. Wadsworth who sent $2,000 to be distributed among the enlisted men at Belle Isle. While the ladies of Baltimore have send hundredths of boxes with every kind of delicacies, towels, soap, combs, hand glasses, cigars, etc. - The ladies societies of Philadelphia. sent to the Pennsylvania troops thousands & thousands dollars worth of eatables & delicacies. The societies of Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts all in short have sent to their state volunteers in prison here some tokens of their sympathy and affection but the great fashionable ladies of New York City and State. You will perhaps say that they did not know we would receive them - Why? Because they have no time left from their amusements & flirtations even to know that there is such a thing as a war … This prison life will become history and the state of New York ladies societies will have a very poor place in it … among the many officers of my country in New York there was the son of Gen. Racchia who was brought up in the Jesuit school with me - His name is Carlo Albert Racchia…" and signed Luigi, Very Fine.
Estimate    $400 - 600.

Luigi Palma di Cesnola (1832-1904), an Italian-American soldier, diplomat and amateur archaeologist. He was released from Libby Prison early in 1864 when the Union Agent for Prisoner Exchange offered a personal friend of Jefferson Davis as barter. He served in the Wilderness and Petersburg campaigns (1864-65) as a commander of a cavalry brigade but was not promoted to brigadier general. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the American Civil War. He was United States consul at Larnaca in Cyprus (1865-1877) and first Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (1879-1904).

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Current Opening Bid: $190

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Lot 2465    

Confederacy, Libby Prison, Richmond Va., inner cover bearing U.S. 3¢ rose (65) tied by grid cancel duplexed with "Old Point Comfort Va., Sep 3" cds to Canton Miss., original enclosure datelined "Libby Prison, Aug 25/ 64" with some interesting content "…Frank and I and 16 more were taken on the 25th. We are both unhurt…You can write if you put a Confederate Stamp beside our own…"; cover reduced at right through stamp, Fine.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

Letter from William E. Endicott of the 10th Mass. Light Artillery was captured at Reams' Station Va. on August 25, 1864. The letter was written only three days later. The "Frank" was Francis M. Howes.

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Current Opening Bid: $140

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Lot 2466    

Confederacy, Libby Prison, Richmond, Va., yellow prisoner-of-war cover to Miss Marcia Fisher in Trenton N.J., endorsed "Soldiers Letter Prisoner of War" at top and signed "Wm. D. Wilkins" and "Asst Adjt Gen", censored with manuscript "Exd HW." by Captain Henry H. Wirz, later of Andersonville Prison infamy, postmarked "Washington, D.C., Sep. 12, 1863" double circle with matching "Due 3" handstamp for U.S. rating; minor stain spots, otherwise Very Fine.
Estimate    $1,000 - 1,500.

A RARE EXAMPLE OF THE COMMANDANT HENRY WIRZ'S CENSOR MARKING ON A FLAG-OF-TRUCE COVER FROM LIBBY PRISON.

Henry H. Wirz took command of Libby Prison beginning in late 1862. In March 1864, he was assigned to Andersonville (Camp Sumter). After the war, Wirz was charged with conspiracy and murder by Federal authorities. His trial was held in the Capitol building in Washington and was presided over by Union General Lew Wallace. A number of former prisoners testified on conditions at Andersonville, many accusing Wirz of specific acts of cruelty (some of these accounts were later called into question by historians as exaggerated or false). The court also heard from Confederate officers and considered official correspondence from captured Confederate records. Wirz presented evidence that he pleaded to Confederate authorities to try to get more food and maintained that he tried to improve the conditions for the prisoners. Wirz was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to death. On November 10, 1865, he was hanged in Washington at the site of the current Supreme Court building -- the only Confederate official to be tried, convicted and executed for war crimes resulting from the Civil War.

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Current Opening Bid: $475

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Lot 2467    

Confederacy, Libby Prison, Richmond, Va., prisoner-of-war use with cover endorsed "Libby Prison, Richmond, Va." at left entered mails with "Old Point Comfort Va. Mar 9" cds and "Due 3" handstamp to Philadelphia Pa., original letter datelined "Libby Prison Richmond Va., February 22d 1864" from J. DeWitt Whiting. Capt. Co "D" 3rd Ohio Vols. reading in part "…I do hope that you will continue to write to me as letters are a great treat to us. I can not promise to answer very promptly as we can only write this much once a week & then I feel it my duty to write to Mother and try and comfort her. I hope & pray that your efforts to have me exchanged will be crowned with success…", Very Fine, covers actually endorsed "Libby Prison" are scarce.
Estimate    $500 - 750.

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Current Opening Bid: $240

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Lots 2458-2467 Lots 2468-2471

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